How to ask fo c/c (constructive criticism)
C&C Rating system (v1.0)
Level 1: "Be Nice" (Default: Noobie)
Consider this the "intro" level, if you're not sure of the poster's temperament and they have not specified a critiquing level other than "what do you guys think?" This should be the default for most of the new or first time posters unless otherwise specified. Always offer ideas on what could be changed, but err on the side of the positive.
Level 2: "Be Kind" (Default: Regular)
Offer up some advice on what should be changed, but go 70% "what's right," and 30% "what could be better". This should be the default for most of Norrath Studio's "Regular Posters," unless otherwise specified.
Level 3: "I'm Learning"
For those who are venturing into some unknown territories - anime from traditional, comic from still-life, you may become a bit defeated if people only told you what's wrong, and frustrated if all anyone said was "I wouldn't change anything!" Level 3 is the "turning point" - more critique than complements (60/40). For those giving the C&C, make sure you add details as in what you think needs to be changed, not just "it doesn't look right." Technical inaccuracies, such as weaponry, anatomy positioning, armor details, and hands/feet/eyes should all be included in commentary.
Level 4: "Into the fire"
You're comfortable in your style, and you've been doing it for a while, but you've been staring at the same freaking piece of work for six hours and it all looks like a blur to you. You know it's good, and you want hard critiques on what's missing, looks wrong, looks weird. Those giving critiques need to step it up at a Level 4 - no more "it's too dark," more like, "the color contrast between the background and foreground need to be better balanced so that the main focus point of the character stands out." Look at anatomy, foreshortening, color balance (where applicable), shadowing, lighting, effects, the whole enchilada. Specifying Level 4 also means that you want more critique than "It's great!" posts.
Level 5: "I can't be burned"
You think it's "done" and want opinions before you "finalize" the project. Level 5 should be used only in instances where the final product is on the table, Level 4 would be more applicable for all other stages. Just be ready for a critique at Level 5 to send you back to Level 4. Level 5 is where styles and preferences are likely to clash - not all comments made at Level 5 must be incorporated, but maybe something you might want to take into consideration for a picture next time. All Level 3 and 4 commentaries should be included with Level 5 - if inaccuracies still exist.
Using the System in a Post
For those who don't post a C&C level, everyone assume either Levels 1 or 2 (depending on the poster). For those who wish a specific level of critique, just post it at the end of your "this is my new picture" post.
Example: Requested C&C Level: 4
"There's no crying in baseball!"
When you step up to a Level 4+ in C&C, you should be ready for people to take a harsh eye to your art. If you don't think you can quite handle it, don't feel bad going to a Level 1 or 2 for awhile, everyone needs to hear what's right sometimes. Should you step into a Level 3/4/5 critique, whatever you do, don't take it personally, and be ready to possibly look at redoing an entire piece based on the comments - if you feel like it! Remember overall, it's your art! If you don't feel like taking some of the suggestions or comments, you don't have to incorporate them. It may be something you consider as part of your style. No one should ever lose their unique style to make it more technically accurate.
For those doing high level critiques, make sure you can back up what you're saying. Know how light works, how to use perspective, or what the anatomy would really do. Don't ever be mean. If you think you're getting too negative, re-read what you're going to post and think if you can balance it out with a positive comment. If in doubt, take your post and cut it in half. If the first half is received well, post the second half later on.
Level 2.... uhh... 2.5?
Don't feel bad making up a level like 2.5 or 4.5 - the guidelines are just that - guidelines. If you want something a bit more specific than a Level 2 critique, but you know it's not quite to the point where you're ready for a full Level 3, go Level 2.5. Same can be said for 4.5 - you're on the verge of "done," but not quite to a "finished" product.